Owner, Piano, Singer/Songwriting, Performance Coaching, Artist Development
I am a professional pianist/keyboardist in San Francisco. I began taking piano lessons when I was 6 years old and fell in love instantly. I had a wonderful piano teacher, whom I adored, who taught me to understand music theory & read music, but also taught me to play by ear & improvise. She taught me to understand the language of music but she also taught me how to stray from the page and create the music that was inside me. To this day, I am eternally grateful for that.
When I was 10, I started playing in my church band. It was here that I discovered my passion for playing music with other musicians. This is still a passion that I share to this day.
I began teaching private lessons to the kids in my neighborhood when I was 13. I have been teaching private lessons and group workshops ever since.
I have a degree in classical piano performance, but have always continued my pursuit of playing in other styles as well (jazz, pop, funk).
Over the years, I have accompanied choirs, accompanied soloists, taught private lessons, taught group workshops, played in many different bands, and have ultimately been narrowing my focus toward the aspects of music that I love the most.
In 2005, I moved to San Francisco and have been actively involved in the music scene here, accompanying the Piedmont Children’s Choirs, the Nationally Renown Head Royce choirs, and soloists such as Megan Hilty from Wicked. Studying with funk keyboardist Jimi McKinney, who has played with Larry Graham and the Graham Central Station, Sly & the Family Stone, and Tower of Power, and grammy nominated jazz pianist Mark Levine, author of “The Jazz Piano Book”, and collaborating with musicians such as George Lacson and Mike Rogers of the John Lee Hooker Jr. Band, I have heavily pursued adding other styles and new repertoire to my classical, pop, and improvisational roots. I am very excited to now be composing and performing with my band, Hidden in the Sun, an amazing group of musicians who borrow from rock, blues, jazz, and funk styles.
Lizzie Clapper, head of the MMS Children’s Department, has her degree in Music Education from San Jose State University. Her teaching philosophy is grounded in her deep belief that music is for everyone and that all beginning music students should have a well-rounded and nourishing experience with equal focus on learning to read music, listening to music, and understanding music from both the classical and jazz/rock/pop perspectives. Lizzie began her journey with music at a very young age, starting piano lessons at age 5. She sang in choirs throughout much of her childhood and well into adulthood, singing with the world renown San Jose State University Concert Choir, where as a part of that group she sang at the Inauguration of the University’s President, Mohammad Qayoumi , and with Andrea Bocelli at the San Jose HP Pavillion.
Lizzie met Ciara McAllister in 2006 when the two began working together as music teachers for a performing arts summer camp based out of San Francisco and the two have been working together ever since. Lizzie is also deeply passionate about singer/songwriters and has been writing her own music since 2005, performing in small venues around the Bay Area. Eventually, Lizzie joined up with Ciara (and other close friends) and helped to form the band Hidden in the Sun, an indie-rock band that features Lizzie as the lead singer and one of the contributing writers. Lizzie is passionate about sharing her talents with the students at McAllister Music Studio!
Miranda Bourgeois started piano lessons at the age of 7 and hasn’t stopped loving piano since. A Native Alaskan, she has a BA in Music from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. During her studies she composed incidental music for theatre department performances, served as a theory tutor for struggling students, and began her teaching career at Hillside Music where she taught for 5 years. She has attended numerous Alexander technique workshops and studied Taubman piano technique, incorporating this understanding into her lessons to ensure all students play freely and uninhibited.
Miranda scored a short film that has screened in several international film festivals, served as a composer and music director for several community performances, and has played for weddings and special events. New to the Bay Area, she has already performed synth and backing vocals in an Oakland-based band and is currently finishing her first solo album.
Pop composition is her truest passion, but she believes an understanding of classical music and note reading to be the best path for a well-balanced musician. Miranda is dedicated to all of her students’ success and is happy to share her musical heart with MMS!
Joseph graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2001 with a degree in Piano Performance and has worked in the Bay Area as a performer and accompanist ever since. He performs frequently with local ensembles, playing in the classical, rock, jazz, musical theatre, and improv genres. Joseph has worked as an accompanist in churches, been a Music Director for local musical theater ensembles, and played with The Brazillionaires, WhoToo, and The Lost Church Theater Productions. He has taught piano professionally for twenty years, and is highly skilled in elementary piano instruction, childhood & adult pedagogy, and the instruction of musical theory. Joe also taught piano at USF and at the SF Waldorf High School, and is very excited to bring his experience and knowledge to the students of MMS!
Just about the time Brittany learned to speak, she knew she wanted to sing. After years of begging her parents for voice lessons, she began them at 8 years old. Taking almost any opportunities she could to express herself vocally, she found herself heavily involved in the acapella world with her quartet, LoveNotes. She began singing in the Lovenotes at the age of 12 and is still actively performing, traveling and teaching nationally and internationally. Throughout this time she took piano lessons in order to accompany herself as a singer, only to discover the fascinating beauty of the piano and has continued to pursue learning it and eventually teaching it ever since.
Brittany has worked an array of fun odd jobs from a Disney Party Princess, the front woman of a Lady Gaga impersonator band, a wedding singer, singing back up and touring with the Joy Lenz band, to an elementary school music teacher. Her deepest passion is expressing herself as a singer and a songwriter and supporting others to do so as well. She writes and performs as the artist BinX, completing an album and performing locally. Her greatest desire is to share with others the joys of music and self expression; whether that is through finding your own unique voice, the healthy physical benefits of breath and voice work, writing that song that perfectly channels your emotions, or just learning new musical skills! Brittany is happy to be a part of the MMS team where she can share her passion, expertise, and creativity.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Natalie Smith is an accomplished vocalist, songwriter and musician who loves thrift stores, cats, and hanging plants. Her simplistic approach to life has led to a fulfilling and focused career in music. She is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she studied songwriting, composition and vocals, with elements of piano, guitar, and audio production. While residing in Boston, she fronted one of New England’s premiere corporate bands, the Big Party Orchestra. After beginning to develop these various skill sets, she was ultimately drawn back to the comfort and weather of her California roots. Smith established a new home in Los Angeles where she continued to grow her performance career singing with major artists Ben Folds, Boyz II Men and Lily Elise. She also showcased original material at well-known singer-songwriter nights around the scene. In 2015, Smith returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as a professional vocalist, session singer, and continues to hone her producer skills both in the studio and as a niche house concert promoter. She also finds great joy in teaching and working with youth to develop their own artistic skills and unique voice and is very excited to bring her talents to the incredible students of MMS!